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The House that Cleans Itself: Creative Solutions for a Clean and Orderly House in Less Time Than You Can Imagine

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  723 ratings  ·  131 reviews
'The House That Cleans Itself' is a true housekeeping guide for the housekeeping-impaired! It boldly takes on the reasons behind chronic messiness and why ordinary home-organization books won't work. Using the methods of 'horizontal thinking', this book teaches readers how to set up a home so efficiently and logically that it seems to clean itself.

More than a how-to book,
Paperback, 234 pages
Published June 1st 2007 by Harvest House Publishers
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Vanessa Chesebro
Jan 11, 2021 rated it liked it
I want to give this 2 stars, but I feel bad. Two good things from this book: First, the idea of praying in your home for specific areas of your home and the people that will be using those areas. Second, the idea to change a space to meet your actual needs, rather than trying to use a space the way you think it should be used. Make cleanup easy and intuitive- toys always end up here, therefore a toy bin should be right here to put them in, rather than trying to get the toys to the other room.
Oct 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
I thought a few of her suggestions were spot on, get it?
Putting disposable wipes in every room. This has made cleaning up for me go so fast. You can do an entire bathroom in minutes and then you just throw the dirty wipe away. I think it was Fly Lady, not sure, that said why would you pay to buy paper towels when you just throw them away. Hinting that you are just putting your money towards garbage. But I must disagree. If the wipe causes you less laundry and speeds up the cleaning process, how
Jun 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book and highly recommend it to anyone dealing with clutter. I am transforming my home into a place that is more organized and (more importantly) easier to clean. I like the practicality of this book, and although I cannot implement all her suggestions, I like the plan and have been motivated by her Christian perspective.

My favorite nuggets in the book are: 1) the reasons people like me hold on to things for years 2) the idea that every item in my home takes time as I interact with
Mar 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
I've probably enjoyed reading this self-help house cleaning book more than any other that I've ever read. I enjoyed the author's personality coming through, the funny little stories at the end of each chapter, the short chapters and new perspective on changing your house to fit your behaviors and not necessarily your behaviors to fit your house. I have never known a house cleaning or do-it-yourself book to be so religiously inclined or spiritually uplifting either but I found the faith-filled te ...more
Feb 10, 2021 rated it liked it
I don't think I'm "cleaning impaired" or maybe I would've found this more helpful. Parts of it were applicable though, and it was a fairly interesting read with good advice. ...more
Jul 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
Most organizational books are written by naturally neat people imparting their methods to the rest of us. This can be helpful, but often such people don't understand WHY others are disorganized--and so such solutions are only temporary help.
Clark professes her own disorganization and her method to keep her house "clean enough." There is a lot of advance work (and work after the initial purge/clean), which may dissuade many from even starting. Even with that, there are some helpful nuggets. The m
Feb 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
Great book for the "Housecleaning Impaired". For someone with ADHD, this book has great ideas for cleaning and organizing, with an empasis on simplicity and common sense that really works. I applied the technique to my entire house and it really works for me. Now we are relocating and it is much easier to get the house ready for the market than if I had not implemented these things! ...more
Nov 28, 2011 rated it it was ok
this book at the start was overwhelming and added more work to already needing to clean your house. i could nor finish. made me feel guilty.
May 08, 2017 rated it did not like it
I thought this book would be about living in a home occupied by fully functional robots. Such a let down.
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This isn't my usual go-to read, but I'm really glad that I picked it up. Some of her ideas about housekeeping have already helped me keep my home cleaner. One of her most useful thoughts is the idea that the home must be changed to match the owners' behavior, and not vice versa. Also, to combat clutter, it's helpful to remember that each and every thing we own consumes a portion of our time. Its value should be equal to or greater than the value of the time that we spend on it. A useful read! ...more
Ronda Bowman
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
This is a good one. I have read ...ahem... Lots of housekeeping/organization books over my lifetime, and just picked this one up again recently. It was fun to re-read it, because as I read, I realized that it may possibly be the one that has brought the most change into my life. Though I never did a whole-house reset as Mindy advises, I did gradually end up trying most of her tips and eventually putting quite a lot of her systems in place. Honestly, it just works very well! I adapted some of her ...more
Jennifer Brogdon
Sep 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I think of myself as a neat and pretty clean person. After reading this, I see many easy ways I can improve to lessen cleaning time and areas of clutter/messiness. I’m excited to implement these tips when we move into our new house. This book is good for the already neat person AND the naturally messy person.
Feb 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Nothing earth-shattering, but some good ideas from a different perspective.
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 02-non-fiction
WOW... I am not alone in my cluttered lifestyle, and it was nice to find out that I wasn't the problem... my house was! *grin*

Seriously, though! I started implementing MANY of the NEW ideas from this book a few days ago and it was amazing to see my bedroom and kitchen stay uncluttered and clean from day 1! Who knew, all I needed to do was figure out how to make the house work for me, not how or what I would have to change about myself to make our home a day to day livable space. I plan a slow pr
Mar 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
As emotionally baggage-laden as house cleaning can be, an approach this encouraging and empowering can really be useful. The author's starting point is that the cleaning that happens most frequently is cleaning that is easy, convenient, and that most closely matches the ways that household members already function and interact with the space. This approach requires the least number of new habits, and is most maintainable.

The author doesn't give a system so much as a set of problem solving tools
Apr 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I can't get enough organizing and cleaning out around here. Love this books strategy of making your house fit your family's lifestyle or behaviors. It's helped me solve problems we've had for years like our messy garage and not being able to access decorations or my kids clothes. It's helped me clean out every drawer, every closet, every cupboard and not spend money! I've freed myself of stuff that I haven't touched or needed for years. I had the best garage sale the other day! ...more
Stephanie P (Because My Mother Read)
This is not the kind of book I would normally choose to read (I'm admittedly bad at keeping a clean home, but I also don't feel the desire to read about cleaning) but it was chosen for my book club. I found it to actually be really helpful and it had several ideas I want to implement. I love that it was written by someone who was bad at cleaning for other people who are bad at cleaning as well. It makes it much more attainable. ...more
Oct 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
So I was totally impressed by this book. I was looking for some tips on keeping my house clean and I found a totally new way to look at my home, myself and my family. Plus the author is religious and included scriptures and making God a partner in your quest for a clean home.
May 27, 2015 marked it as to-read
Shelves: next-up, self-help
Someone recommended this as a good companion book to The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
When I mentioned this book's title to my husband he asked if it was fiction. Yes, it is written by a fiction writer, but Clark's strategies make for some tried and true results.

Clark's thesis is if there is something that is not working in your home, i.e. where messes pile up, instead of trying to change the behavior make the house change. For example, one of the most challenging places in a home is the entryway. This is where shoes, backpacks and various things get left. What can be changed to
Aug 03, 2018 rated it liked it
I like to read a de-cluttering or housecleaning book every once in a while to inspire my cleaning and clutter-clearing efforts. This one did the trick! I've been applying her room-by-room approach with zeal, and my house looks amazing. It's also been fun' which surprised me. I hoping it will be easier to clean and keep clean, as she suggests.

One thing I really like about this book is its focus on efficiency. If you have a plan for how to keep every room clean without too much trouble (i.e. clea
Emily M
Jan 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I liked that this author admits she is naturally a horrible housekeeper--unlike Martha Stewart or KonMari or others who wax eloquent about cleaning, she's like me in that I'd rather be doing something else. On the other hand, I am pretty sure that my house is consistently cleaner and more picked up than hers, so this wasn't life changing for me. I do have several friends who I think would greatly benefit from a read-through, though.

I liked the emphasis on setting up your house/storage/organizat
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Depending on who you are, a lot of the content of this book may seem obvious, but Clark's target audience is those who are, as she calls them, "housekeeping impaired." If you simply cannot keep your house orderly and organized, or if you think of yourself as a slob, then I think you will get a ton out of this book.

Even though I don't think of myself as housekeeping impaired or a slob, I do read a lot of organizing/cleaning book and articles. And I have 6 kids so the idea of a house that cleans
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love the practical, unconventional ideas in this book. She suggests being a detective in your own home and then changing and simplifying things that don't work (like if one's children keep shoving things under the bed, put boards up underneath it to block this action). I just wish she could come to my home and tell me what creative things could help me cut down the work I do! I'm thinking that having more garbage cans in more rooms, more mats and boot scrapers, trunks to place shoes and other ...more
Melinda Staley
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing

I’ll be honest - I had to start this book about 4 times to be able to really get into it. BUT, it was not because of how it was written - it was only because I had to actually be motivated to want to read it. It is hard reading something that is going to make you CHANGE 😩. I finally plowed through it, and can I just say WOW! Mindy has a way of writing that makes it feel like she is in your head and has been through what you are going through. She is relatable and never once makes you feel condem
I am not what I would call housekeeping impaired, but there are still lots of great tips to be taken from this book. The author's standards are very high, both in decluttering and in cleaning, and I would wager my standards will never be hers, but the overall concept of arranging your home to function with your family instead of trying to force certain behavior changes makes a ton of sense. I will definitely be implementing some of her ideas. ...more
Ashley Ramsey
Feb 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have enjoyed this book so much. The author isn’t like most authors who write orgainzation or cleaning books so she had some original ideas that I had not considered and have used already.

I dont struggling with tidiness but I’m often aware that i’m probably wasting motions and energy the way that I clean and organize. Her ideas have helped me eliminate some of my inefficiencies.

I felt like the Bible was used to prop up her chapters in an unessecary way that was just distracting.
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-help
I have a thing for organizing and learning how to improve my organizing. I love the idea of improving my routines to get more done, simplify my life and spend more time doing what I want to be doing. This book had some great pointers, new ideas, (ideas others have used in newer books), and actual real life changing habits that can be effectively applied.
Jun 12, 2019 rated it liked it
This book had some helpful tips and different kinds of organizational ideas that seemed much more relatable than other organizational books I have read. The author is Christian and includes scripture at each chapter heading, but overall I was able to skim over most of the Christian language and found the book helpful despite not being Christian.
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I think this book presents practical ideas. Nothing earth-shattering, but then I'm inclined to organize things for fun anyway (actually cleaning is a different story). There are some good tips in here. ...more
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Mindy Starns Clark is the bestselling author of more than 30 books, both fiction and nonfiction, and has received numerous literary honors, including two Christy Awards and RT Book Review Magazine’s 2012 Career Achievement Award. Mindy and her husband, John, have two adult children and live near Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.

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